October 02, 2008,
J.J. asks from North Little Rock, AR on September 30, 2008
Food Ideas for My 20 Month Old
I really need some food ideas for my 20 month old. She isn't a picky eater, but eats the same things all the time because I don't really have any new ideas for food. I would like some new ideas and would like them to be pretty quick and easy. I don't mind if the recipes or ideas are not exactly quick and easy. Anything would be appreciated. I need ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas. Please help, she has to be so bored with the food that I give her. Her food consists of pancakes, donuts, eggs, bacon or cereal for breakfast. She has chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, meat sticks and gerber graduates meals for lunch and then different things for dinner and snacks. I need some new ideas please!!
1 mom found this helpful
J.R. answers from Tuscaloosa on October 01, 2008
Cheap and Easy Stuffed Pepper Casserole (minus the peppers)
1 cup uncooked white rice(bring 2 cups water to boil, add rice, stir, cover, cook 20 min med-low heat)
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 can Hunts tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar
Oven 350 degrees. Brown meat, drain. Meat back in pan on med heat. Add 3/4 can tomato sauce and whole can diced tomatoes. Stir in 1 cup cheddar. Add cooked rice and stir coating all rice. Pour contents of pan into baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheddar over top. Bake 25-35 minutes or until cheese on top is bubbling.
You can always add a can of peas, corn or whatever to mixture before baking. While browning meat, add onion, garlic or herbs(fresh rosemary and oregano is awesome in this). You could try different cheeses, or flavored tomato sauce or diced tomatoes with onions and chiles. And brown rice is a great option.
This is my 22 month old daughter's favorite!
As an aside, my mother made this when I was a child and stuffed the mixture in hollowed out green bell peppers. I do not like green bell peppers.
1 mom found this helpful
C.N. answers from Baton Rouge on October 01, 2008
At that age, my daughter was eating pretty much anything I ate, seasonings and all. I quit giving her prepared baby foods long before then, after I tasted some of them and realized just how nasty they are.
I didn't give her anything super-spicy, but I didn't make it bland either. When I cooked, I cut up up her food into small bites that she could easily spear with a fork or scoop up with a spoon.
I don't eat breakfast, but she liked oatmeal with vanilla yogurt in it, or cheese grits for breakfast. I would buy plain oatmeal - the flavored stuff ahs too much sugar. I also bought plain grits and grated cheese into them - not the artificially cheese-flavored grits.
Her lunch and dinner were whatever I was having for lunch and dinner.
Snacks were fresh fruit, peanut butter on graham crackers with a glass of milk, and sometimes she would ask for cold cereal for a snack. Apple slices spread with peanut butter or banana slices drizzled VERY lightly with maple syrup (real maple syrup, not artificially maple flavored high fructose corn syrup) were also a favorite.
T.W. answers from Tulsa on October 01, 2008
I am a mother of 2. I have a 4yr old daughter and a 2yr old son. Some of the things they enjoy are.... Peanut Butter Cheerio Balls. You take peanut butter and cheerios and mix them together in a large bowl. Then you roll them into balls and put them in the fridge to chill. We also like waffel sandwiches. You make a sandwich as you normally would but instead of bread you use waffels. Hope your little one likes these ideas.
J.S. answers from Tulsa on October 01, 2008
J.-I feed my children what we are having. They eat broccoli, asparagus, pasta, meat, really anything. The only thing that I serve different is when I make spicy food.
Try making oatmeal with milk and raisins, bagels and cream cheese, yogurt and cheerios, apples and peanut butter. Granted my kids don't have allergies and aren't picky. We definately go through our poptart and cookies phase. For snacks try making a trail mix out of cheerios, goldfish, raisins and nuts(if your comfortable). Almonds are great.
For example my son is having sliced ham, sliced strawberries, yogurt and goldfish for lunch. Just email me if you want any more suggestions. It seems to work out if you just keep simple exposure in mind. Good Luck!
D.C. answers from Tulsa on October 02, 2008
I also highly recommend Ruth Yarons book SUPER BABY FOOD. It has so much nutritional info. I always add pureed carrots, cauliflower, spinach, beans, pineapple, blue berries, etc. to mac and cheese, spaghetti, baked beans, pancake mix. You can make your own meatballs with hidden veggies. Get creative and don't miss an opportunity to get those fruits and veggies into your kiddo. You say she isn't picky, so give her the fruits and veggies straight up too. You might be surprised at what she will eat.
L.W. answers from Auburn on October 01, 2008
At 20 mos., I think she could start sharing your food more, so if you just offer her anything appropriate that you're eating she should broaden her diet, and her tastes.
R.E. answers from Oklahoma City on October 01, 2008
You could try adding new things to the mac&cheese - our 14-month-old enjoys salmon and peas with his m&c. I also get different shaped pastas and mix some jarred Alfredo sauce with some jarred spaghetti sauce (pink sauce), and he likes that, too. Also try refrigerated or frozen tortellini - they come with cheese or meat fillings and are a fun shape to eat, too. Our son also likes eating fresh fruit and avocados. We give him a banana every morning because he can feed it to himself while we get the rest of his breakfast ready; I peel plums or peaches for lunch (he likes Black Diamond plums because they're sweeter; they have black skin and reddish flesh). A half-avocado he can also feed himself and it's relatively easy to peel and cut for him.
Perhaps you could take your daughter with you to pick out produce to eat? And then search online for recipes to cook it in. Or, a good cookbook is the Taste of Home Cookbook that came out a year or two ago; lots of healthy and DELICIOUS recipes.
S.W. answers from Montgomery on October 01, 2008
Try fixing her what you eat at the table.
Offer her fresh fruits, and veggies. Spaghetti has always been a favorite at my house.
P.B. answers from Mobile on October 01, 2008
Our son turned 2 last week and he LOVES bread-of all kinds.Since he was about 18mts that's been just about all he wants to eat-don't get me wrong-he eats "normal" things a baby that age would-ie:nuggets,fries,fish sticks,cereal,crackers,etcetcetc...but,when we sit down for dinner at night,he won't try the meals I've cooked.Our pediatrician says to feed him what he'll eat-and BTW-fish sticks & nuggets are a great source of iron!He loves pizza,so,since I'm a big fan of supreme pizza, he eats that!That way, I know he's getting full amounts of veggies and meat.And, he LOVES cheese,so, I buy him those mozzarella sticks-works like a charm.I also stuff refrigerated croissant rolls w/ cheese,ham/turkey, sauce and cut them in half and bake until brown (c.14 min. @350)and he LOVES those!
S.J. answers from Tulsa on October 01, 2008
Lots of fruits and vegetables (you can steam the vegetables or sautee them in a little olive oil, broth, or water), or buy the bags of frozen mixed vegetables - they are a staple at our house, and they are super-easy. And if I were you I would eliminate the donuts or other sugary sweets, and try oatmeal or cereal sometimes instead of bacon and eggs for breakfast. Cut up fruit into fun shapes for her to eat, or slice some cheese and cut out with tiny cookie cutters for a snack or make a bunch of little sandwiches like that for the main course of a lunch. We make these "bean mixtures" all the time - take a couple of different kinds of canned beans (black beans, pinto beans, etc.) and add them to a sautee pan where you have already sauteed different vegetables (whatever you have on hand), then add shredded cheese at the end. Then just fill up soft taco shells or tortillas and roll up and eat! She might like mild salsa too with them. Most kids like grilled cheese sandwiches and those are really easy to make. There is also a cookbook, I forgot the name, maybe the Sneaky Chef, and also another one by Jessica Seinfeld, that sneaks healthy stuff like spinach and carrots into tasty recipes for kids. I mentioned that because it sounds like she doesn't eat any vegetables or fruit, although you did say she isn't a picky eater, so maybe she would. Also when I was a kid, we would all make "homemade" pizza together (with Chef Boyardee instant dough mix) and that was always fun to help put all the toppings on, but maybe when she is a little older. Or little english muffin pizzas in the toaster oven (or oven). Just spread on tomato sauce or pizza sauce, sprinkle shredded mozzarella, and add any other toppings and bake.
K.S. answers from Oklahoma City on October 01, 2008
It does't hurt to allow her to eat the meals you eat. Some say cut back on the seasoning a bit. Spaghetti, cut up some chicken and boil it, add it with a little rice and that makes a meal you can even add carrots and peas to it. Breakfast a bagel with strawberry cream cheese and some cut up strawberries on it. For snack fruit kabobs. Any kind of fruit and piece of cheese. Celery and peanut butter and raisins. Called ants on a log. Dinner lasagna you can buy those if needed. Mackeral patties 1 can of mackeral, add an egg and some crackers make them into patties and fry until browned on each side. Add some 2 side vegetables and a slice of bread and butter. Hope these few ideas help.
K.L. answers from Springfield on September 30, 2008
Good ol' PB&J is a great lunch option. Sometimes I skip the jelly and mix the peanut butter with honey and spread that straight on the bread or even sprinkle it with raisins or lay some apple slices on it. The possibilities are endless. Something I keep on hand for my 2 year old is fully cooked cubed or diced ham (I usually find it by the lunch meats), you can throw these into her macaroni or she can eat them plain. You can put almost anything into a tortilla and roll it up to make a handy snack too. We like to sprinkle ours with shredded cheese and microwave until melted, sprinkle on some olives or bacon bits (hormel real bacon bits) or diced ham or diced tomatoes-you get the picture, anything goes-then roll up and eat! My 2 year old also loves cottage cheese, this is a good way to get in an extra serving of dairy. For breakfast I buy fully cooked, frozen sausage patties. Stick 1 in the microwave for 1 minute and voila! Gosh, I'm sure you'll get lots more advice so I'll stop there, good luck and enjoy introducing new foods to your daughter.
C.T. answers from Fayetteville on September 30, 2008
Have you tried pb&j? As long as there is no peanut allergies in your family it is safe to try pb at her age. My 22 month old recently decided it is her favorite after refusing to eat it the past 3 months! She also loves spagetti with meatballs, you can use macaroni noodles since they are easier for them to eat and buy frozen meatballs, just be sure to cut them up in bite size pieces, also the frozen ravioli, you just boil it and pour spag. sauce on it-my kids love those. I think you're doing ok with breakfast, mine want Cheerios pretty much every morning. If we have pancakes it's normally for dinner! You can also do Waffles, french toast or muffins. You could give her lunch meat rolled up or cut up and cheese slices or sticks. There are tons of cooking for baby/kids cookbooks out there that are very informative and helpful that you could go to a bookstore and look at closely before you buy and you should get lots of responses to this request! God Bless!!
G.B. answers from Tulsa on September 30, 2008
Get "Baby & Toddler Meals For Dummies", my local library has it and if your's doesn't have it you can request it on interlibrary loan to see if it meets your needs.
Check out familyfun.com and babycenter.com
L.B. answers from Fayetteville on September 30, 2008
Get yourself a cheap new or used copy of Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron on amazon.com. You can get it for like 4 bucks. It is a wealth of all kinds of tips, mostly food-related, but also goes into birthday party ideas, safety tips, decorating, keeping things fun at mealtimes, etc. Also very good nutritional information, charts, etc.
J.H. answers from Oklahoma City on October 01, 2008
If these are the only things she's eating, then she's in desperate need of fresh fruits and vegetables. They should make up the bulk of her diet. The more processed, restaurant, and additive-containing foods you can eliminate from her diet, the healthier she'll be. I eliminated everything processed from my childrens' diet and they were able to stop taking their allergy meds - and my youngest was even on an inhaler everyday. Trust me, this will make a HUGE difference and she will benefit for the rest of her life.
T.P. answers from Tuscaloosa on October 01, 2008
My 2 year-old loves sliced hard-boiled eggs and also cut-up fresh avocado. He likes bagels and cream cheese or oatmeal for breakfast. He really likes yogurt and cottage cheese and those string cheese snacks. One of my favorite easy lunches to make is an old Pennsylvania dutch knock-off. You heat a can of vegetable beef soup and pour some of it over a toasted waffle. At this age it is really important to give you child a taste for healthy foods so that they learn to eat them before they are old enough to insist on unhealthy ones (like donuts, hotdogs, fried chicken, etc.).
M.S. answers from Oklahoma City on October 02, 2008
I am sorry, but where are the fruits and veggies?
Bacon? Donuts? Chicken Nugets? =( That's a bit of a sad and unhealthy fare.
Do you cook at all?
Eggs are very versatile and can be prepared in a 101 ways. Sandwiches can be made with bread or tortillas or english muffins and bagels, cheese, peanut butter...
What about real meat rather than meat sticks? Fish? Tuna? Beef? Soft tacos? meatloaf? spagetti?
The sky is the limit.
H.M. answers from Florence on October 01, 2008
Muffins are a wonderful breakfast. If your family isn't large enough to finish a dozen in one day, then freeze what you don't eat. Use part whole wheat flour. Here is a basic muffin recipe that you can adapt:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar (can use 1/2 honey)
Mix dry ingredients
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
Now get creative, add one of the following: 1 cup of berries, 1 c.whole berry cranberry sauce with some grated orange peel, 1/2 cup chocolate chips (no, that is not healthy! just yummy), a couple of mashed ripe bananas, a cup of chunky applesauce, grated carrots with some raisins... you get the idea.
Toddlers also usually like frozen peas (especially if they are teething), just drop a handful on the highchair tray. And don't forget yogurt, but watch out for the sugary kind, or better yet, make your own. Cream of wheat for breakfast is good, stir in a little applesauce, or mashed banana.
J.C. answers from Tuscaloosa on October 01, 2008
Your child can eat pretty much anything you eat, just make sure it is cut into small pieces to prevent choking and remember a child's portion is a lot smaller than an adult. 1-2 TBSP of food is the normal portion size for a toddler. No need to make something different for her unless she has food allergies.